Thursday, 23 July 2009

Gugari Rip - The Hole in the Wall

Gugari Rip, or the Hole in the Wall as it commonly referred to is the narrow straight with currents of up to 11knots separating Raragala and Guluwuru Islands which form part of the Wessel Group. It’s a source of many an exciting yarn and has been called the yachting equivalent of threading the eye of a needle. I had been excited about going through here for months and encouraged many of my sailing mates to take this route too. Simon always up for a challenge had no objections – plus it saved 35nm by not having to go around the islands!

After bashing out of our Raragala anchorage we sailed the 10nm to the passage. I was now quite nervous as it looked so narrow and the wind was 20-25 and the seas short and steep – very uncomfortable. We had our main and headsail reefed and were still approaching the rip at 7.5 knots our heading wild, swinging 60 degrees from one side to the other. Could we really fit through there???

After a bit more swinging about we entered the rip and things seemed to settle down a little. Simon encouraged me to take some photos, probably to get my stressed vibes out of the cockpit more than anything else! It was really pretty with the cliffs and rock so close I felt I could almost touch them. The current was very fast and we flew through at over 9 knots.

To give you an idea of how narrow it is – it’s 50mtrs wide and just over 1nm long. Here is Gugari Rip on the chart.


Amanda said...

That's pretty cool. Glad you made it through safely - must have been a buzz!
In other news, since you guys don't get any these days, I read a newspaper article the other day about a couple that stole a yacht. Then when they ran into trouble they starved to death - as determined by the diary they wrote in their last few days. (Still not sure if it's wrong that my initial thought was that it serves em right for pinching someone's boat.)

Anonymous said...

Bet that was nerve wracking. Only 50 mtrs wide. Well done navigator.